How to Deal with a Droid thats Gotten Wet–THE RIGHT WAY

Discussion in 'Droid FAQ' started by medicTHREE, Dec 12, 2009.

  1. Zecpull
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    Zecpull New Member

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    "no substitute for the inexpensive monthly insurance for your cell phone"
    Inexpensive..7 Bucks a Month for phone that costs $500. Lets put that same insurance on your car...700 a month for a 50,000 car and that is just replacement cost. I realize they replace a Lot of phones.and Yes if I had insurance my phone just might get Wet if the battery starts to go..But I can not see it as inexpensive.
  2. TimChgo9
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    TimChgo9 New Member

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    I learned a few things about water and other liquids and how it interacts with electronics from my years as a computer technician.

    If soda, or pop, spills on your phone, that stuff is a real electronics killer. I have brough back many electronic things that merely got wet from water, with no problem. Pop, coffee, beer, and Kool-Aid on the other hand, forget about it. The sticky residue left behind after evaporation will ruin any electronics, from alarm clocks to 2,000 dollar laptop computers, no question about it.

    When something electronic of mine gets wet, especially from water, my first rule of thumb has always been: LET IT DRY! (I have saved 5 cell phones, 2 laptops, a monitor,a police scanner and 3 pagers in this manner, 3 or those items after they had fallen into sinks and toilets) Where batteries have been present, they were removed immediately upon removal from the water. If it's a sugary concoction (pop, margaritas, beer, kool-aid, coffee, hot chocolate) I generally let it go, and figure out how to replace it. I have never tried the alcohol method, nor have I tried rice, or dessicant. That's not to say the methods don't work, it's that I have never tried them.

    The main thing is, don't panic. Water dries, and if an electronic item is left alone, with no current applied (either unplugged, or battery removed) it generally (in my experience) will work again, but may fail sooner than expected, because water does damage electronics, even if you manage to take out the battery, or unplug it. However, damage from regular tap water can be minimal if the item is not messed with and simply allowed to dry, or dried using the methods described in the original post. If your item gets wet from cleaning, or other household fluids, that gets trickier, because cleaning supplies (Glass Cleaners, Bathroom cleaners, etc) can contain corrosive chemicals, bleach is an especially bad thing to get in any electronic device. Detergents, and dish soaps are also bad, because they leave behind a gummy residue when they dry. Then there is the possibility of chemical reactions between the chemicals contained in the device's circuit board, and the chemicals in the fluid it comes in contact with. However, on the plus side, many household cleaners evaporate quickly, and the possibility exists that damage to your device may be minimal.

    The best thing to do, is to keep your devices away from liquids where practicable, but, accidents do happen... If the unthinkable happens, your are better off letting it dry, without the battery in it, and checking it after several days.

    I do not recommend the use of a hair dryer, or any other heat source to dry out something that has gotten wet. The heat can build up in the device and distort boards, or break electronic contacts, or solder joints, and ruin LCD displays. A can of compressed air may be better, but I don't recommend that either.
  3. Johnly
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    Johnly Guest

    Don't be numb nuts, if you use a hair dryer, be sure to set it at a safe distance (you will get the device dry in 15 min as opposed to 75 hours..lol. Most electronics are manufactured to withstand a certain degree of heat, as they know you will leave your phone in the car on a hot day. Get it dry ASAP...don't wait around for mother nature, the longer that water sits on the electronics, the greater the damage. You CAN use a hair dryer IF ONLY, you can do so with common sense, if you can't put you hand comfortably by the device being dried, the hair dryer is to close, move it back and re-check. The faster the device gets dry, the safer for it....NO arguing that.

    Most people don't have several days to wait for the phone to dry, and so we resort to methods that speed up the process, like desiccant, putting the phone by the air conditioner, compresses air, all GOOD Ideas. This thread is full of better suggestions than not doing anything and letting the water run its course.

    I Highly recommend Expediting the drying process, but I speak from a "builder of circuit boards" experience. Go ahead and ask me, I have manufactured circuit boards from the fiberglass, to plating, to imaging, to QA. You CAN use a hairdryer, why in the world would you think people are so stupid, that they would set the phone a inch away? Wait, you are right, people are stupid..lol. Use a hair dryer only if you are competent.





























    s
  4. acemannw
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    acemannw New Member

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    Good write up

    I have been in the wireless industry for 13 years now. I sold the old bag phones that plug into your car!!

    I have had a lot of expierence with water damaged phones. I like to think I have seen it all but ever week I hear a new story. My expierence with WD phones is that the water it self doesn't hurt anything it is when it electrical contacts in the phone get corrosion on them that we start to have issues. I am a big proponent of drying the phone out quickly.

    This can be accomplished several ways I always recomended people putting their phone in the front window of their car or on a heat vent in the winter. The dessicant and alchohol idea is even better though. I have used actual electronics cleaning spray but the immersion in alchohol seems like a good plan.
  5. tranz
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    tranz New Member

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    aw shucks, I just gotta add another point or 2.....

    Water, electricity and conductive surfaces and compounds are really the problem. Corrosive residues follow closely. That's why getting the battery out instantly is so important. Water with any salt whatsoever is just enough of both to do real damage. Human sweat qualifies!

    ,,, which are facts some know well, and assume others either also realize - or are too dumb to understand

    If there is no electrical current (or potential) present or available, a further rinse with clean, pure water is not a bad idea, IF it is effectively used to remove other impurities such as conductive compounds (salt being probably the most common) or corrosive compounds (uh, salt again!). If Alcohol is effectively used for those same purposes, great!

    Dessicants, compressed dry gasses, and heat are only good when they effectively remove clean, pure water or alcohol which leave no corrosive or conductive residue, and haven't harmed factory applied sealants and heat conductors. If clean water is the only foreign substance that ever got into the device, then any method of drying, which does no damage to any part or element of the device, is just fine!

    I actually got a cell phone soaked in salt water once, and was able to get the battery out quickly enough that the phone suffered no immediate damage. I then cleaned it out (after some careful disassembly) and let it air dry slowly, and all was well. This was a days long process though! I could have sped things up, but I didn't want to press my luck too much.

    The tiny, tiny spaces between the leads on microchips, and electronic connectors inside the phones rarely get water in them, but are the most sensitive to damage from conductive compounds or debris. Gold-plated connectors are impervious to corrosion per-se, but once again, residue can be a problem if it is conductive, OR non-conductive OR barely conductive.

    PURE water is non-conductive. Very clean, but not PURE water can be BARELY conductive.

    If it got in your phone, how pure can it be?

    I keep zip-lock bags and paper towelsand napkins in my car, duffel back, lunch bag, tackle box, boats, etc.. When I go out boating I wrap the phone in the paper towel, and put it in a zip-lock bag. Without the absorptive paper present a bag can be worse than anything.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2010
  6. tex
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    tex New Member

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    good ol' bag of rice

    Last Wednesday, wife's nephew thought it would be funny to drop her droid in a cup of water (his nickname is tazmanian devil). I towel dried the big droplets, took battery out and pushed keyboard open. Let it sit open in warm dry room for the night and rebooted it the next day. It worked for about 20 minutes, but then locked up with black screen. I broke it back down and put it in bag of rice and left it for 2 days. Pulled it out and it booted right up. I should have not have booted it within the first 24 hrs, thankfully it recovered.

    Took the phone to VZW later that week to have it looked over and get insurance. I was honest and told them what exactly had happened. After taking it to their "mysterious" back room, they came out and said fully functional, the watermark was still intact and they would put the insurance on it, no problem.

    Don't know if this helps anybody out there, but it worked for us. Good luck.
  7. tetontroll
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    tetontroll New Member

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    Droid With A Beer Chaser

    Everclear (190 proof ethanol) resurrected my Droid from full immersion in beer. I would hesitate to use hardware store denatured alcohol because of the nasty stuff added to make it undrinkable. Spend the extra ten bucks and throw what's left in the punchbowl.
  8. Johnly
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    Johnly Guest

    Good point, sweat is an enemy of electronics. You sound better prepared than most my friend, but don't get caught in the purest of holy water while the toaster gets dropped in, It will kill, as this is earth, not the deep hidden springs of pure artisan water from 10million years ago ha ha. Salt does intensify the effect tenfold, so does many impurities and additives. Sweat is worse than water...thanks for pointing that out! I like to get my sweat on!
  9. housefull
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    housefull New Member

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    I accept with information:This is the tough one. Wait. Wait until you think it is dry, then wait 2 more days. The alcohol that you rinsed your phone with displaced the water, now it must evaporate. There are risks to long term alcohol exposure for your phone–it can break seals(just like in people…) and break glue bonds. I’ve done this to 5 phones(not all mine, but for family/friends) and never experienced any alcohol related failures(the same can’t be said for their owners). I recommend waiting at least 4 days. 5 is better. I know, you can’t live without your phone for that long… but this is an attempt to save you some cash. Live with it.
  10. alienware777
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    alienware777 New Member

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    Great advice. Thanks!
  11. Shamey
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    Shamey New Member

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    Almost makes me want to get someones phone all wet so I can try this
  12. EmmVeePee
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    EmmVeePee New Member

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    Also, if available, anhydrous sulfate salts works well as a desiccant. Epsom salt (Magnesium Sulfate), for example (so long as it is anhydrous).

    If we're talking about "pure" water, rain, snow, toilet (freshly flushed), sink, pool, bath, et cetera, then you can skip the isopropanol washing. It won't do anything but make it harder to dry. Any kind of solution (soda, beer, urine), you should consider the isopropanol bath.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2010
  13. GMofOLC
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    GMofOLC New Member

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    Say I spilled some wine of my Droid a couple days ago, is this something that can be done now, even though it's already dry? It's not sliding as smoothly as it was before, and I'm fairly certain this is the reason.
    Or is there some other way to make it slide better?
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